Tag: Diocese of Buffalo Sexual Abuse

Federal Court Sets Buffalo Diocese Bankruptcy Filing Date For Abuse Claims

On Friday, September 11, Judge Carl L. Bucki of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Western District of New York signed an Order granting survivors of sexual abuse in the Diocese of Buffalo until August 14, 2021, to file claims for compensation.

The August 14 date coincides with the expiration of the extended window created by the Child Victims Act, legislation that created a window of time for all survivors of child sexual abuse to file lawsuits against those responsible – including employers like the Diocese of Buffalo – no matter when the abuse occurred.  Previously, the overwhelming majority of claims had been barred by New York’s archaic statute of limitations.

Judge Bucki reasoned that the extended time period, which is slightly longer than in a traditional corporate bankruptcy, will allow the Diocese and its insurers to evaluate the entire picture of potential liability, and takes into account that it often takes survivors of childhood sexual abuse a long time to come forward.  Many do not come forward until the last minute, if at all, given the life-long effects of the trauma.

The Diocese has already sued eight of its insurance carriers in bankruptcy court to force a decision on whether they will provide coverage of claims.

Based upon our extended experience in these matters, we believe that the scale of sexual abuse and coverup in the Diocese of Buffalo rivals the scandals in much larger dioceses, like the Boston Archdiocese and Los Angeles Archdiocese, which serve exponentially more Catholics.  However, decisions by the Diocese of Buffalo’s leaders led to a much higher percentage of its parishioners being exposed to sexual predators.  Through our own investigation, we have identified at least 143 clergy who have been publicly accused of sexually abusing children in the Buffalo Diocese, an absolutely staggering number given the Catholic population of the area.

The August 14, 2021, date is referred to as a “bar date” by the Bankruptcy Court because the Diocese will be immune from suit in any claim not filed by that date.  Survivors will never again have any chance for accountability after August 14, so it is critically important that you contact a lawyer today if you were harmed by an employee or volunteer in the Diocese of Buffalo, including laypeople and teachers.  This also applies anyone sexually abused as an adult and the estates of deceased victims.

Our attorneys have decades of experience representing victims of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church.  Contact us confidentially now.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims of sexual abuse in the Diocese of Buffalo in New York.  The Diocese of Buffalo filed for bankruptcy protection in February 2020.  Our lawyers are now offering free legal consultations to discuss a potential lawsuit and your other options as a survivor of sexual abuse by priests and other employees of the Buffalo Diocese.  Very strict filing deadlines have been set by the Bankruptcy Court.  Most victims of abuse will never be able to recover damages if they miss this deadline, so please contact us to discuss your case today.    Call us at (888) 283-9922 or send an e-mail to adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com.

diocese of buffalo sexual abuse

Diocese of Buffalo Returns Two Accused Priests Back to the Ministry

In a puzzling and potentially reckless move, two Buffalo diocesan priests who are accused, in a civil lawsuit, of molesting a child have been put back into ministry.

If history is any guide, we suspect this is a decision that may well come back to haunt Bishop Edward Scharfenberger.

His public relations staff claim that the accusations against the two priests “could not be substantiated.”

But when you enter the names of the two “accused but just re-instated” priests – Fr. Peter Popadick and Fr. Paul Nogaro – into the diocesan website search box, nothing comes up about them ever having been accused or suspended.

https://www.wnycatholic.org/search.php?form_name=search_block_100007&form_event=submit&task=execute-search&search_load_100007=2020-01-17+16%3A09%3A05&search_keywords_100007=popadick

That raises an obvious question: If church officials apparently didn’t even announce that these two priests were accused of abuse in a lawsuit, how hard did they work to ‘substantiate’ the charges against them?”

The Buffalo diocese says its ‘investigation’ was thwarted because the accuser supposedly would not ‘cooperate’ with them. https://bit.ly/2FYMQi2

That raises another question: Had the accuser of these clerics died, would the diocese just have given up trying to determine whether his or her allegations had merit?

Think about the Jeffrey Epstein case. Even after his death, efforts at determining the truth about him and achieving justice continue. Shouldn’t Catholic officials work to determine whether Fr. Popadick and Fr. Nogaro are potentially dangerous EVEN IF their accuser prefers to disclose his experiences in a courtroom instead of in the chancery office?

And assuming they’re telling the truth, given the horrific track record of the Buffalo diocese in particular and the Catholic church in general with abuse, can anyone really blame a victim for choosing NOT to trust a church official or a church committee?

In their announcement about putting Fr. Popadick and Fr. Nogaro back on the job, Buffalo church officials make a curious omission: They don’t mention that the accuser of these two priests also accused two OTHER clerics of abuse: Fr. Frank J. Tuchols and a “Fr. Mike.” (In 1995 Tuchols was caught in a sting by the DEA buying crack cocaine.)

http://www.bishop-accountability.org/news555/1995_01_28_Herbeck_Local_Priest.pdf

Why this ‘oversight?’ It does little to inspire faith in Bishop Scharfenberger’s promises of ‘transparency.’

The plaintiff says his abuse happened at St. Mary of Sorrows and at Bishop Fallon High School. When he filed suit, Fr. Nogaro was at St. Stephen Church on Grand Island and Fr. Popadick was at St. Aloysius.

We hope that anyone who works or worships at those parishes will step forward if they know of or suspect abuse.

We also hope his suit brings this plaintiff healing.

Finally, we hope Buffalo Catholics will demand some further explanations from their bishop.

Deadline Approaches on Diocese of Buffalo Claims Period for Clergy Abuse Compensation

Diocese of Buffalo sexual lawsuit

May 2018 is the final month for victims of sexual abuse by clergy of the Diocese of Buffalo to bring a claim seeking compensation from the Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program (IRCP).  The program, which follows similar programs in other dioceses in New York State, is designed to compensate people who sexually abused as a child by a member of the clergy in the Diocese of Buffalo.  According to published reports, dozens of priests of the Diocese of Buffalo have been accused of child sexual abuse.  Some, but not all, of those priests are now deceased.

The list of priests of the Diocese of Buffalo who have been accused of sexual abuse includes: John R. Aurelio; Donald W. Becker; David M. Bialkowski; Robert J. Biesinger; James H. Cotter; Donald S. Fafinski; Douglas F. Faraci; Fred G. Fingerle; Michael R. Freeman; Joseph P. Friel; Mark M. Friel; Thomas G. Gresock; John P. Hajduk; Michael J. Harrington; Brian M. Hatric; James P. Hayes; Louis J. Hendricks; J. Grant Higgins; Francis T. Hogan; Fred D. Ingalls; Florian A. Jasinski; Gerald C. Jasinski; Richard P. Judd; Timothy J. Kelley; Thomas L. Kemp; Richard J. Keppeler; John D. Lewandowski; Bernard M. Mach; Loville N. Martlock; Fabian Maryanski;  Thomas J. McCarthy; Basil A. Ormsby; Norbert F. Orsolits; Martin L. Pavlock; Roy K. Ronald; Joseph E. Schieder; Gerard A. Smyczynski; James A. Spielman; Chester S. Stachewicz; Edward J. Walker; William G. Ward; William F. J. White; and Robert W. Wood.

Notably, Father Fabian Maryanski to work in a parish until May  2018 —  decades after he was accused of having sexual contact with a teenage girl in a church rectory at St. Patrick Church.

The deadline for victims to submit claims is June 1, 2018.  You should hire an experienced attorney before bringing your claim.  Sexual abuse attorney Adam Horowitz has many years of experience handling claims on behalf of victims of clergy sexual abuse throughout New York, including cases with the Diocese of Buffalo.  Attorney Adam Horowitz offers confidential, free evaluations of your sexual abuse claim involving priests and clergy of the Diocese of Buffalo.

If you or someone you know has been a victim of a sexual abuse by any priest or clergymen affiliated with the Diocese of Buffalo, please e-mail attorney Adam Horowitz at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com or call our law firm at (954) 641-2100 to discuss your claim against the Diocese of Buffalo and learn if you are eligible for monetary compensation.

 

Diocese of Buffalo Program Underway to Compensate Victims of Clergy Sexual Abuse

The Diocese of Buffalo has announced an Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program (IRCP) to compensate people with claims that they were sexually abused as a child by a member of the clergy in the Diocese of Buffalo.  According to published reports, more than forty two priests of the Diocese of Buffalo have been accused of child sexual abuse.  Some, but not all, of those priests are now deceased.

Individuals who have made abuse abuse claims with the Diocese of Buffalo prior to March 1, 2018, can participate in this voluntary program.  The deadline for victims to submit claims is June 1, 2018.  You should hire an experienced attorney before submitting your claim.

In certain cases, the claims process may involve gathering church sacrament records, school records, witness statements, counseling/therapy records, or photographs to support your claim. For that reason, it is critical you do not wait until the deadline to submit your claim.  It is also essential that you hire an attorney who has previously handled cases involving the IRCP programs in New York State.

The IRCP is intended to compensate victims of child sexual abuse by clergy of the Diocese of Buffalo.  The program was publicly announced by the Bishop Malone of the Diocese of Buffalo on March 1, 2018.  This announcement follows the lead of Archdiocese of New York, Diocese of Brooklyn, and Diocese of Rockville Centre who employed similar program.  Since that time, dozens of victims across New York State dating back to the 1950’s have submitted claims. It has not yet been determined how the Diocese of Buffalo will treat claimants who did not previously report their abuse.  The Archdiocese of New York, Diocese of Brooklyn, and Diocese of Rockville Centre have in the past agreed to compensate persons who did not previously report the abuse — and victim advocates are hopeful that the Diocese of Buffalo will do the same.

The Diocese of Buffalo’s geographical area spans eight counties in Western New York state.  The Diocese includes more than 150 parishes, which also include churches, schools, convents, seminaries, hospitals, colleges, and other ministries.  The Catholic population of the Diocese of Buffalo is estimated to be nearly 700,000.

Sexual abuse attorney Adam Horowitz has many years of experience handling claims on behalf of victims of clergy sexual abuse throughout New York, including cases with the Diocese of Buffalo.  If you or someone you know has been a victim of a sexual abuse by any priest or clergymen affiliated with the Diocese of Buffalo, please e-mail attorney Adam Horowitz at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com or call our law firm at (954) 641-2100 to discuss your claim against the Diocese of Buffalo and learn if you are eligible for monetary compensation. Attorney Adam Horowitz offers confidential, free evaluations of your sexual abuse claim involving priests and clergy of the Diocese of Buffalo.

Diocese of Buffalo Discloses List of Priests Accused of Child Sexual Abuse

At long last the Diocese of Buffalo has publicly disclosed the complete list of Diocese priests who have been accused of child sexual abuse since 1950.  The disclosure comes at a time when many Dioceses in New York State are announcing compensation programs for victims of abuse by its priests.  The Diocese of Buffalo recently unveiled its own program.

Below is a complete list of the names of the Catholic priests disclosed by the Diocese of Buffalo:

  • John R. Aurelio  (2009)
  • Donald W. Becker
  • David M. Bialkowski
  • Robert J. Biesinger  (2012)
  • James H. Cotter  (1991)
  • Donald S. Fafinski
  • Douglas F. Faraci
  • Fred G. Fingerle  (2002)
  • Michael R. Freeman  (2010)
  • Joseph P. Friel  (1995)
  • Mark M. Friel
  • Thomas G. Gresock
  • John P. Hajduk
  • Michael J. Harrington  (1989)
  • Brian M. Hatrick
  • James P. Hayes (1988)
  • Louis J. Hendricks (1990)
  • J. Grant Higgins  (2016)
  • Francis T. Hogan  (2010)
  • Fred D. Ingalls
  • Florian A. Jasinski (1983)
  • Gerald C. Jasinski
  • Richard P. Judd (1988)
  • Timothy J. Kelley
  • Thomas L. Kemp
  • Richard J. Keppeler (2011)
  • John D. Lewandowski (1982)
  • Bernard M. Mach  (2004)
  • Loville N. Martlock (2014)
  • Thomas J. McCarthy
  • Basil A. Ormsby (1997)
  • Norbert F. Orsolits
  • Martin L. Pavlock
  • Roy K. Ronald (2013)
  • Joseph E. Schieder (1996)
  • Gerard A. Smyczynski (1999)
  • James A. Spielman
  • Chester S. Stachewicz (2010)
  • Edward J. Walker  (2002)
  • William G. Ward (2008)
  • William F. J. White  (2016)
  • Robert W. Wood

Those priests who are deceased have the year of their death next to their name.

The Diocese of Buffalo has created a compensation program to offer settlements to victims of sexual abuse by clergy of the Diocese of Buffalo.  The Diocese  of Buffalo includes parishes and other ministries in eight counties in Western New York State.  Attorney Adam Horowitz is currently assisting survivors of abuse in this claims process.

If you or someone you know has been a victim of a sexual abuse by a clergyman affiliated with the Diocese of Buffalo, please e-mail attorney Adam Horowitz at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com or call our law firm at (954) 641-2100 to discuss your claim against the Diocese and learn if you are eligible for compensation.   Attorney Adam Horowitz is offering confidential, free evaluations of your sexual abuse claim involving priests of the Diocese of Buffalo.